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Holladay Journal

Council split on upgrades cost to Holladay Park playground

Jan 31, 2022 02:25PM ● By Travis Barton

This open area in front of the swings is under consideration for an ADA path to the ramp. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Plans for improvements to the Holladay Park playground could be scuppered due to rising costs for the project. 

The Holladay City Council will decide at its Feb. 10 meeting whether to approve an additional $120,000 for the completion of the project, and if so, then how they wish to fund it. 

Due to a steady stream of feedback from residents about the poor quality of wood chips in the playground and poor ADA accessibility to the adjacent bathrooms, city officials planned to upgrade the playground. 

First, by replacing the wood chips with a more accessible rubberized surface. Second, by designing a clear accessible path across the playground that improves bathroom accessibility. Currently, those who attend summer concerts at the adjacent gazebo must go north around the pickleball courts to use the bathroom facilities, which are south of the gazebo, next to the playground. 

Staff originally budgeted $165,000 for the project, but due to rising costs in labor and materials—as well as an initially low estimate—the project rose to $285,000. 

“It’s just a large dollar amount,” said Councilman Paul Fotheringham during the Jan. 20 council meeting. 

The push to make a decision soon comes from a desire to complete the project within the current fiscal year, ending June 30, and to avoid further increased costs. City staff is operating on its initial bid with contractors, but if they had to bid it again, they fear prices will jump considerably. 

As part of the cost, an additional $25,000 will be used to use a nonblack color, often cited by residents as getting too hot during the summertime. The black rubberized surface is used at Knudsen Park. 

If approved, the upgrades would take an estimated three to four weeks to implement. 

Councilwoman Drew Quinn reminded the council these upgrades aren’t just for kids, but for adults with mobility issues as well. 

In a straw poll by the mayor, Fotheringham, Councilmen Dan Gibbons and Ty Brewer were leaning towards no, while Quinn and Councilman Matt Durham said yes. 

One possible solution would be the use of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to fill the gap. Of which Fotheringham appeared to be fully supportive. Or to use money from the Capital Projects Fund. 

A final decision will be made during the council meeting on Feb. 10.